Emmy experts predict historic wins for ‘Mad Men,’ ‘Modern Family’ and Viola Davis

Our dozen Emmy experts — Robert Bianco (USA Today), Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Eric Deggans (NPR), Lynn Elber (AP), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly), Matt Roush (TV Guide), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times) and me — have been busy updating their predictions before nominations are announced on Thursday at 8:30 am PT/11:30 am ET.

When it came to predicting last year's Emmy nominations, our Experts had an accuracy rate of 74.64%. They were edged out by Gold Derby users just like YOU who scored 74.78%. However, both groups were bested by the Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who'd done the best at predicting the 2013 Emmy nominations) at 78.55% and Gold Derby's Editors with 77.68%.

Which group will be victorious this year?

Check out the collective views of our Experts HERE before you enter our predictions contest where you can win Amazon gift cards, bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboards. 

Eight Experts are predicting that "Mad Men" will win Best Drama Series for a record fifth time; that support gives this AMC staple leading odds of 4/1. "Game of Thrones" is at 5/1 with Bianco backing that bid while Elber and Rice cast their ballots for "House of Cards," which now has odds of 6/1 while Whipp is backing "Empire" (15/2).

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All but one of us expect "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm will finally win Drama Actor after seven losses. That support gives him leading odds of 3/1 while Kevin Spacey ("House of Cards") has the vote of Rice and odds of 9/2. 

Eight of us predict Viola Davis ("How to Get Away with Murder") will win Drama Actress; that collective backing gives her odds of 10/3 to become the first African American to win this category. Two Experts expect that it will be Critics' Choice winner Taraji P. Henson ("Empire") who breaks this barrier; she now has odds of 4/1. Rice is predicting Golden Globe champ Robin Wright ("House of Cards") to win here too; she has odds of 5/1. And Bianco expects Olivia Colman (50/1) to pull off an upset for season two of "Broadchurch."

An even half dozen Experts predict that 2012 Drama Supporting Actress champ Maggie Smith ("Downton Abbey") will pick up a bookend and that gives her leading odds of 4/1. Four forecast a first win for Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men") who is 9/2 while Jacobs does the same for Christine Baranski ("The Good Wife") at 5/1. Rice likes the looks of Lena Headey ("Game of Thrones") who is at 14/1.

Eight of us predict 2011 Drama Supporting Actor Peter Dinklage ("Game of Thrones") will win again; he has odds of 10/3. Birnbaum, Eng and Whipp expect this race to go to Critics' Choice winner Jonathan Banks ("Better Call Saul") who has odds of 9/2 while Roush backs Jon Voight ("Ray Donovan") who is at 6/1. 

See the odds in all the top Emmy races here

Ten of us predict that "Modern Family" will win Best Comedy Series for a record sixth year running; that gives it leading odds of 4/1. Jacobs opts for "Veep" (9/2) while Tucker is touting "Transparent" (11/2).

We are unanimous that Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Veep") will tie two Emmy records this year with her fourth straight Comedy Actress win (Helen Hunt did that with "Mad About You") and her fifth overall (Candice Bergen has as many for "Murphy Brown" while Mary Tyler Moore has two for "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and three for her own). Louis-Dreyfus, who also won this award in 2006 for "The New Adventures of Old Christine," has leading odds of 3/1. 

While ten of us tout Jeffrey Tambor to win Comedy Actor for the first season of "Transparent," giving him odds of 10/3, Deggans and Rice predict that four-time victor Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") will win despite odds of 4/1. 

Eleven experts predict that Allison Janney ("Mom") will repeat as Comedy Supporting Actress. That support translates into leading odds of 10/3. With Whipp casting his vote for "Saturday Night Live" featured player Kate McKinnon, she has odds of 10/1. 

Comedy Supporting Actor is turning into a real race.  Five of us give the the edge to two-time champ Ty Burrell ("Modern Family") while four favor 2013 winner Tony Hale ("Veep"); they are tied at 4/1. Jacobs and Whipp like the looks of Andre Braugher ("Brooklyn Nine-Nine") who now has odds of 11/2. Eng is going with newcomer Tituss Burgess ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt") who sits at 10/1.

And it looks like HBO has locks with "Bessie" for Best TV Movie, "Olive Kitteridge" for Best Limited Series and its stars Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins.

WATCH: Our Editors clash over Emmy predictions (Video Slugfest)

As some of our users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it's important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our User racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

Make your own Emmys picks now starting with Best Drama Series to the right or at the bottom of this post.

You could win one of our three prizes ($500, $300 and $200 Amazon gift certificates) as well as a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Emmys line-up).

Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Emmys last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar. 

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